Alex Mott·26 March 2023
Alex Mott·26 March 2023
The leaves are falling, the nights are getting longer and the football is getting red hot.
It’s going to be a great weekend for football and here’s five fixtures you simply have to watch.
With Manchester City the firm favourites for another Premier League, Bayern Munich the runaway heavyweights in Germany and Paris Saint-Germain almost certainly set to clean up in the French top division, it’s left to Serie A to offer us up a title race this season.
The Italian top-flight is certainly delivering on that promise with the top seven in the table currently separated by just four points.
Stefano Piolo’s side have recovered from their hammering in the derby to win two on the bounce whilst the capital side are floundering in mid-table after substandard start to the campaign.
Maurizio Sarri has so far struggled to move the team on from the departure of Sergej Milinković-Savić, but their win against Torino last time out could well be a catalyst to build from.
Perhaps just one example gives an idea of the amount of chaos and change there has been at Southampton and Leeds recently.
It was 25 February 2023 when these two last met for a Premier League fixture and in the dugouts were Javi Gracia and Rubén Sellés.
Both of those coaches endured pretty horrid spells during their short stints and now Saints host the Yorkshire giants in the Football League’s most mouth-watering fixture of the weekend.
Russell Martin is in charge on the south coast now but has struggled to get the St Mary’s outfit going after an impressive start.
Daniel Farke meanwhile is leading the Elland Road side and despite some early struggles Leeds are up to sixth in the table.
It looks to be Leeds’ to lose with another defeat for Martin surely the final nail in his coffin.
After an extended summer break due to the World Cup, the Women’s Super League is finally back this weekend!
Sunday will see six games across the whole day with two fixtures really standing out.
First up is Manchester United’s trip to Aston Villa.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how Marc Skinner’s side do without Alessia Russo following her big-money move to Arsenal before the tournament in Australia.
But the Red Devils will hope that goalscoring gap is filled by Brazil international Geyse, who signed from Barcelona over the summer.
Later in the day we then have reigning champions Chelsea and their clash with Tottenham.
Emma Hayes’ side may be without Pernille Harder and Magdalena Eriksson after their switch to Bayern Munich but the Blues can still boast Sam Kerr, Lauren James and Millie Bright amongst their ranks.
Seeing how they perform post-World Cup is going to be fascinating.
The Bavarian giants have flown out of the blocks this season, winning four and drawing the other of their five games.
And in Harry Kane they have a striker who has taken to the Bundesliga like a duck to water.
The England striker has broken a decades old record set by Gerd Müller for goals in his opening five games, with Kane having bagged seven so far.
Kane will lead the line up against a Leipzig defence that has only conceded four so far.
It’s further up the pitch though where the Red Bulls outfit have impressed with Xavi Simons coming in on loan to provide three goals and four assists so far.
This should be a real cracker.
Only two sides are currently unbeaten at the start of the Liga season and one of them is playing in Spain’s biggest game this weekend.
No, it’s not the Jude Bellingham-led Real Madrid.
Instead it’s Girona who have stunned so far this term, winning six and drawing one of their first seven games.
The Catalan side host Los Blancos this weekend in a first vs second battle at the top of the table.
It should be an absolutely fascinating encounter with the home side having scored a league-leading 18 goals and Carlo Ancelotti’s side looking leaky in defence at times.
After being rested against Las Palmas last time out, all indications are that Bellingham will be back in the starting XI and ready to take on Spain’s surprise leaders.